Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Regrets? I have a few. But as they say, enough to make a blog post.

(Since I am going to be listing the blog in my going away email tomorrow I might as welcome all of the people who clicked on the link to finally view my blog. Hi, here’s what you’ve been missing. Stay awhile.)

As my career at the rather large phone company winds down I feel that it is time for me to reflect on my five years here. I know, I’ve always kept the rule of never talking about work but it’s the end of the road. There are some things I need to talk about. Specifically, there are many things that I regret doing or not doing. So in an attempt to cleanse my soul here is what I would do differently if I had the chance.

I’d take a ride on one of the security guard’s segways. It’s not like they are going to catch me. I’d be on a segway. I wouldn’t wear the helmet though. Why look like a dork when you’re already on a segway?

I still wish I had gone through with my protest on dress code enforcement by doing the following. One week I would start wearing a tie to the office. A few days later I would add in a sport coat. I’d follow that up with a three piece suit, immaculately tailored of course. If that didn’t get me sent to HR I was prepared to come to work in a top hat and tails, complete with white gloves and a cane. I’d break out a monocle but I think then most people would just think I was dressed as the Planters Peanut.

Staying on the dress code front, I still can’t believe I never got in trouble for changing for concerts in the office. Especially when I worked in the headquarters building on the same floor as the top executives. I’d walk around in jeans and a CBGBs t-shirt and no one ever questioned it for a second. That said, it might explain my lack of promotions.

Oh, and I regret never getting a cubicle with a window. Someday I will achieve my dream of being able to tell if it is raining or not without having to walk fifty feet.

I never did get my personal parking space. I did once ask the head of the real estate department about this once. I’m not kidding. I was in a big meeting with her and someone asked if there were any questions and I raised my hand and requested my own space. Somehow that didn’t go over nearly as well as I expected.

I wish I would have stood up for myself more. I probably should have walked out of the room when early in my career someone took all the work that I had done for the past two weeks and said “this is meaningless.” Especially because I had just proven that I was doing a better job than the consultants he hired. It probably wouldn’t have done my career any favors but it would have felt really, really good.

I also would have liked to just once receive an explanation as to why the food in the cafeteria was so expensive. The best answer I ever received was that it was priced “to keep people on campus and productive”.

I never got to the point where I put on the Decaf coffee pot a note reading: “An orange lid indicates decaf. Please do not fill this pot with four packets of caffeinated coffee. Some of us poor souls are under doctor’s order to give up caffeine unless we want to hear the words “heart” and “explode” in the same sentence. Please have pity on us. It is not an enjoyable existence.”

That said I should have just taken the pot to my desk every day. Once I leave I doubt that pot will ever be used again.

I wish I hadn’t let the job get me down so much. Sometimes the politics and the drama of the place just got me down so much that all I wanted to do was put on my headphones and ignore everything except the numbers that were in front of me. As a result I turned into a person even I don’t like hanging out with and I missed out on some really cool people in the process. That is a mistake I will not make again.

Oh, and I always wanted someone to ask me just what I was listening to on my headphones. What’s the point of wearing headphones if no one asks what you are listening to? Other than getting to avoid listening to a woman a few cubes down talk about her hernia.

But most of all, I regret never wearing the red clown nose to work. Sometimes I feel that what the company misses most is some unexpected levity. No one would have expected it from me either. The simplest things can sometimes be the most interesting.

Wednesday Night Music Club: Because I am just about to head off to his show here is Mike Doughty’s “27 Jennifers”. He is the guy from Soul Coughing and is just awesome. Gen X lives, if just for one more night.


Foodie said...

Chris, I am so mad at you. I started out reading this post and I was laughing - which you know is a good thing that I always thank you for. But this time I was laughing so hard that I started choking and I ALMOST DIED.

Erik said...

Hey! Nicely done!! Long time reader, first time comment(er)...

You'll be missed and I am wondering just what you have on in the headphones.

Keep in touch,